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SFO recovers criminal assets from £740m property fraud concealed through school donation

17 March, 2023 | News Releases

Today, the SFO confiscated an additional £92,500 from Achilleas Kallakis, one of the fraudsters behind the UK’s largest ever mortgage fraud case – ten years after his conviction.

A recent SFO investigation exposed how criminal proceeds from this fraud were donated towards a theatre at Mr Kallakis’ child’s London private school in 2005.

When the school later removed the Kallakis name from the theatre, the family took legal action against it, revealing the additional funds to the SFO.

Following a three day hearing at Southwark Crown Court, this donation, paid through a complex family trust fund, was confirmed as the proceeds of crime.

The SFO has already confiscated £3.25 million from Mr Kallakis after the SFO’s original investigation into Kallakis and co-conspirator Alexander Williams exposed a £740 million fraud, resulting in their imprisonment in 2013.

Although other parties associated with the family trust laid claim to the funds, His Honour Judge Baumgartner found in favour of the SFO.

Commenting on today’s verdict, Lisa Osofsky, Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), said:

“Today’s ruling demonstrates our determination to go after fraudsters, no matter when they committed a crime or where they hide their assets.

“In the last two years alone, we have recovered 100% of the funds we have gone after – almost £140 million in proceeds of crime – including from cases a decade after prosecution like Kallakis.”

The judge ordered Mr Kallakis to pay this amount within 28 days.

The £740 million mortgage fraud

Mr Kallakis and Mr Williams were convicted and imprisoned in 2013 after an SFO investigation exposed how the pair forged documents and made false claims to obtain substantial loans from the Allied Irish Banks and the Bank of Scotland.

The loans enabled Kallakis and Williams to acquire a London property portfolio worth £740 million, including a £75 million 23-storey tower in Vauxhall, a £100 million processing centre in Croydon, and the £225 million headquarters of a national newspaper in Central London.

At the height of the fraud, Kallakis maintained a fleet of chauffeur-driven cars, a private plane and helicopter, a luxury yacht in Monaco and a valuable art collection.

The SFO’s investigation into Kallakis and Williams’ proceeds of crime continues.